Are we really alone in the universe?
A group of scientists and billionaires seriously want to answer that question for good – and they are providing huge money for it.
Famed physicist Stephen Hawking, tech investor Yuri Milner, and astrophysicist and cosmologist Lord Martin Rees are pooling together resources and money to finally find out if there is intelligent life outside our planet.
Announced last Monday at London’s Royal Society, the group explained that the alien-hunting initiative aims to give scientists access to the most advanced technology. For the next 10 years, Milner and the team will give $100 million to sustain the effort – the biggest budget for an extra-terrestrial research so far.
With sufficient funding, Milner claims that the group will be able to gather more information in one day than what previous researches have gathered in a year. The scope will cover everything from the nearby stars and the galactic center, to nearby galaxies and the Milky Way.
“The idea is to bring the Silicon Valley approach to the search. That means an approach to data that is transparent, that is innovative, and that uses the problem-solving power of social networks.”
The collected information will be made available to the general public. On top of that, the hardware and open-source software to be used are compatible with telescopes across the globe. This means researchers everywhere can contribute to the program if they have any useful information.
Milner emphasized that a serious research for alien life-forms is relevant now considering that the NASA Kepler spacecraft alone have revealed that our galaxy has billions of planets that are potentially habitable.
Hawking also remarked:
“There is no bigger question. It’s time to commit to finding the answer to the search for life beyond Earth. The Breakthrough Initiative [is] making that commitment. We are alive. We are intelligent. We must know.”
Good luck to this project and we’re looking forward to hearing more from them soon.